We have a house and a yard. The yard needs mowing. But before the mower can do its thing, there are thousands of sticks needing to be picked up. These sticks come from the thousands of trees on our property. Every time it rains, or the wind blows, or someone sneezes, branches and sticks in all shapes and sizes come tumbling down. Since most are too big to get eaten by the lawn mower, there is a job before the job, and it's a big one. See that pile down there? That's the bounty from Saturday morning alone (pictured alongside the newly mowed yard, thanks B).
Usually I send the kids out to do this slightly miserable job while I weed weed weed the berms. This summer we did weeds and sticks, weeds and sticks, 15 minutes a day of weeds and sticks. Holy moly were my kids ever ready to go to Utah. Annie had a friend over Saturday though, and I was feeling sorry for Zane, so I decided to take part in the dreaded stick collecting.
About halfway into the job and over in an area we don't trudge through all that often, we found something out of this world.
But not the ugly, beige, dry ones the size of your fist that one might kick so as to not eat. Nope, these little fellas were teeny tiny and YELLOW or GREEN or even RED and all shimmery/slimy-like. Um, yeah, they stole my heart. Like those in The Borrowers or The Hobbit, these were right out of my childhood daydreams.
Zane loved them too, but I think that had equal part to do with the enjoyment of not having to pick up sticks for awhile.
(We have 6 pairs of pink gardening or "stick picking up" gloves. It doesn't help the shame.)
I was talking today to someone about the idea of "home" and being from a place. I know some people feel a really strong draw to a particular part of the country, either due to family roots or life experiences or something else. Because of moving around quite a bit, I haven't ever felt a real tug towards one certain geographic area; however, even though I have loved the many places I've been able to live and experience, I'm particularly grateful at this moment to be "from" this little town in the south. Hidden surprises abound.